BLYTH Spartans last night parted company with manager Steve Cuggy after a run of two wins from 20 games had left the club rooted to the bottom of Blue Square Bet North.
After relinquishing his role at Croft Park, Cuggy revealed his disappointment at his departure, citing a catalogue of misfortune – mainly injuries – as the reason behind the Northumberland outfit’s run of poor form.
Having left by mutual consent and on “very amicable terms”, the former Whitley Bay assistant boss thanked the club for the opportunity and wished them well for the future.
Cuggy said: “I am very disappointed to be leaving Blyth.
“I had high hopes but different things transpired against us. I know every club has injury problems but I don’t feel like I had a break from the footballing gods.
“Everything which could go wrong did go wrong. You could not make up what has gone against us in the last six months.
“We have had unbelievable bad fortune, but I understand why the club were looking for a change, and the agreement for me to stand down has been very amicable. The club needs a change of face and a new voice.
“The way things were going we were not getting many breaks and it was difficult to keep saying the same things to the lads and expect a response.
“I gave it my best and poured my heart and soul into the job.
“The club has been great with me in lots of ways and I will always be grateful for having been given the opportunity.
“I will take some time now with my family, who have been through a lot these past few months but always been fully supportive, and I thank them for that.
“Now I just want the best for Blyth Spartans and hope they can get the results to get them out of the relegation zone and up the table.”
Having helped Whitley to an unprecedented three successive FA Vase victories as Ian Chandler’s right-hand man, Cuggy made his first step into full management replacing Mick Tait in May. He signed a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.
After adding 14 new faces to his squad during the summer, a promising pre-season was followed by a solid start to the league campaign, taking four points from their first three games.
However, injuries to Shaun Vipond, Graeme Armstrong, Glen Taylor, Phil Bannister and Carl Jones prevented Cuggy from establishing a settled side and just one victory from the next 17 league fixtures followed, a run exacerbated by exits from the FA Cup – albeit after negotiating three rounds – FA Trophy and Sage Northumberland Senior Cup.
With attendances on the slide and a vital double-header against fourth-bottom Workington to come, the club’s board decided to act.
Blyth host Altrincham on Saturday, and it remains to be seen whether Cuggy’s assistant Gavin Fell and goalkeeping coach Carl King will stay on.